Challenge 11: ACCOMPLISHED!

Posted by Albert on August 21, 2010 under Challenges | 5 Comments to Read

Map updated!

Challenge 11: Visit a nursing home.

“Where to?” the taxi driver asked us.

“Are there any nursing homes in Yíchāng?” we asked him.


“Great. Take us to any one of them.”

We were turned away from two government-operated nursing homes with our gift box of fruit still in hand before the taxi driver found us a small, private “tuō lǎo yuàn” (support old center) that welcomed us with big smiles.

We were moved when we heard the story of how Mr. Liú and his wife opened “Long Life” nursing home ten years ago and have selflessly taken care of the elderly residents who have come to stay with them ever since. When we asked if they ever have time off, they said, “How could we take time off? Who would take care of our residents?” Just to clarify that they hadn’t had a single day off in the past ten years, we asked when their last vacation was. They looked at each other for a few moments and replied, “Well, we used to have two days off on weekends at our previous job.”

The owners and residents couldn’t have been more welcoming. We chatted with a 40-year-old woman visiting her 53-year-old brother and heard the story of how he came to stay at “Long Life.” We also chatted with a 91-year-old woman, who insisted we just call her “Grandmother,” about some of the changes she’s seen in China since her birth in 1919.

This is yet another chapter of the book we can’t wait to write and another experience we’ve filed in the already teeming folder labeled: “Challenges that far exceeded our expectations.”

Photos (click on them to see the full image)

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(To see video, please visit the website)

5 Comments on “Challenge 11: ACCOMPLISHED!”

  • Ana said,

    How big is the nursing home and how many old peole do they take care of?Becase it looks quite different from those here in Guangdong,which are much better with improved equipment and environment.

    Aug 21, 2010

  • Cheney said,

    The condition of the nursing home there r a bit different from that in GuangDong,looks like a real home~I hope they really enjoy themselves in the nursing home.Moreover, I have a suggestion for u guys,that is u could pick some of the experiences or topics during ur trip n then talk with ur students in the Oral English Class.

    Aug 21, 2010

  • Marie said,

    Wow, can’t wait to read about this is the book. It sounds amazing.

    Aug 22, 2010

  • Kelin said,

    I can’t wait to read the book. The experience at the nursing home will be especially good reading.

    Aug 22, 2010

  • helen said,

    I am very intrested in what a 90 year old “Grandmother” has to say! wow, chatting with her must be like reading a living history…

    Aug 31, 2010

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